Parenting is more than comforting children when they fall down, or making sure they get proper nutrition, and brush their teeth, and so on. Parents are responsible for their children’s spiritual training as well.
You can constantly point a child towards the Lord, even from the time he or she is born, by talking to them about Jesus. You can pass a knowledge of the Bible on to them by daily using Bible story books and other devotional materials appropriate for their age.
Following are some links to free online devotionals for toddlers, preschoolers and young children. These short, illustrated books, booklets and presentations will grab your little one’s attention and make him want to learn more about Jesus.
Free Devotional Books:
Big Thoughts for Little Minds – This series of five books brings key Bible passages to life in a relatable way for young children. The books include simple text, colorful illustrations and points for discussion to help little kids better understand Biblical principles. Click the following links to read or download the books for free:
currently on sale for less than $1.00 each)
Jesus and Me – A series of books with messages from Jesus for children on themes such as: waking up, bedtime, kindness, healthy habits, learning new things, guardian angels, and protection. Click the following links to read or download the books for free:
Free Devotional Series:
Bright Pebbles – Bright Pebbles is a collection of Christian and character-building books written for children ages four on up. Each devotional is built on a Bible verse, and explains to a child in simple terms what the principles of that verse mean and how it applies to daily living. Bright Pebbles are made by My Wonder Studio and there are currently over 85 of these devotionals posted online in pdf format for easy downloading. Additionally, a compilation of two books from this series can be downloaded in epub and mobi format.
My little talks with Jesus – An ongoing series of short, devotional articles where Jesus talks with little children about day to day issues such as happiness, trying new things, forgiveness, going to sleep at night and more. This series is created by My Wonder Studio and all articles are in .pdf format for easy downloading.
One kind deed at a time – A series of ten devotional articles on the topic of kindness, consideration and forgiveness. Each devotional includes a Bible verse and practical ideas to put the article into action. This series is created by My Wonder Studio and all articles are in .pdf format for easy downloading.
Other Free Devotionals for Little Kids
Devotionals from the Freekidstories Website - Freekidstories offers a range of free children’s devotional resources for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, including presentations of songs, illustrated simplified Bible verses and short devotional articles.
My Wonder Studio - The My Wonder Studio website is dedicated to creating free children’s stories, devotionals and activities that can be read online or downloaded at no charge. You can find materials for children ages 0-5 years here or check out stories and devotionals listed by category.
Nurture, Inspire, Teach: Nurture, Inspire, Teach is a website dedicated to providing very affordable online devotionals for children, teenagers and parents. Following are links to the site’s children’s devotionals for little ones. Free sample are available on each page, while full devotionals booklets are available for $1.00 apiece:
You can also find numerous free Bible stories online that your little ones are sure to enjoy. Some of these are available as PowerPoints while others are in .pdf and/or ebook format.
Image courtesy of Microsoft Clipart
Updated June 2017!
Families that share that common connection with God, whom the Bible calls love itself (1 John 4:8), are closer, more loving, more unified, and have far fewer serious problems among themselves than families that don’t. Why?—Because they have the most important things in common, besides a clear standard of right and wrong—the spiritual guidance and support they need to make the right decisions and stick to them.
Click on the links for free illustrated and simplified Bible stories for children:
Basic Old Testament Stories – Simple, colorful and nicely illustrated Old Testament stories for children. The stories found here include Creation, Noah and the Ark, Joseph, Moses, David and Goliath and Jonah. All stories are in PowerPoint presentation format; just right click an image and then select “save file as” or “save as” to download any Bible story onto your computer.
Basic New Testament Stories – New Testament stories found at this link include Jesus Calls 12 Disciples, The Good Samaritan, Jesus feeds 5,000, Jesus calms a storm, Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar, Lazarus lives again, The 10 Lepers, The Lost Sheep and The Prodigal Son.
The above stories are in PowerPoint presentation format; just right click an image and then select “save file as” or “save as” to download any Bible story onto your computer. All the books that can be downloaded from the list below are in .pdf format and there are some that can also be downloaded in epub or mobi ebook format
Tiny Bible Treasures: Tiny Bible Treasures is a series of New Testament Bible stories illustrated by French artist Didier Martin. The stories have large illustrations and a minimal amount of text, making them ideal for very small children. These can either be read online or downloaded in .pdf format from the site itself or from Scribd. Following are links to the stories available in this series so far:
Free Bible Books
These Bibles for babies, toddlers and preschoolers are available from various publishers. Some may be downloaded; others no; however, all are ideal for very young children and can be viewed online for free.
My First Baby Bible – Unique children’s bible created using photo illustrations of babies and young children. Includes six short, attention-grabbing stories in both English and Spanish that young kids are sure to enjoy; these are Creation, Noah, Moses, David, Daniel and the Birth of Jesus. Created by Gold Quill; available to read online and download.
You n’ Me Baby Bible – This is a preview of the full book and includes eight different Old Testament stories (Creation, Noah, Abraham and Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Ruth and Hannah). Created by Scandinavia Publishing. (can be read online but not downloaded)
Great Adventures of the Bible – This is a preview of the full book and includes six basic New Testament stories for children. (Christmas, Jesus as a child, Feeding the 5,000, Jesus and the children, Resurrection of Jesus). Created by Aurora Productions. Available to read online and download.
Stories of the Bible – Basic Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments for children, courtesy of Scandinavia Publishing (can be read online but not downloaded)
Parables of the Bible – Parables of Jesus for toddlers. Includes the Parable of the Lost Sheep, The Prodigal Son, House on the Rock and the Lost Coin. Courtesy of Scandinavia Publishing; can be read online but not downloaded.
Angel Stories in the Bible – Stories of Angels from the Old Testament and New Testament. Text is short and to the point and the attractive illustrations are sure to catch the attention of any toddler or preschooler. Produced by Scandinavia Publishing; can be read online but not downloaded.
Ready – Set – Find!: Short Bible story books for children with simple text. These books give the children an opportunity to participate in the event by finding key people and things in the illustration. Available from Scandinavia Publishing (can read online but not download). Following are the books in this series:
Joy! Kids Bible Stories: The Good and Beautiful Jesus
Joy! Kids Bible Stories: Trusting God
Joy! Kids Bible Stories: God’s Miracles
Joy! Kids Bible Stories: Friendship
YesKids Bible Stories about Love
YesKids Bible Stories about God’s Greatness
YesKids Bible Stories about Jesus
Bible Stories: Obedience – This bilingual book (English and Spanish) features four well known Bible stories about obedience. Can be read online and downloaded
The Life of Jesus for Children – Contains two dozen stories from the life of Jesus, starting with His birth and ending with His return. It is ideal for older preschoolers but can be read to younger children. You can also download this ebook for kids for free in epub or mobi format.
The Story of Jesus for Preschoolers – Bilingual book (English and Spanish) about the life of Jesus. Unlike many other Bible books, this booklet focuses on the reason why Jesus came to earth instead of recounting specific miracles and parables in depth. It is ideal for toddlers and very young children and can be downloaded as well as read online.
Bible Passages and Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer – A simple yet engaging presentation of the Lord’s Prayer, with text in English and Spanish. Can be read online or downloaded.
The Beatitudes – The Beatitudes for children. This presentation has colorful, attention grabbing pictures with simple text that young kids can easily understand. Can be read online or downloaded.
The Blessing - "The Lord bless you and keep you...". Text is in English and Spanish and the booklet can be read online or downloaded.
Psalm 23 - The well-known "The Lord is my Shepherd" psalm. The book has colorful illustrations, text in English and Spanish and can be downloaded.
Psalm 100 - A psalm of praise to the Lord. The book has colorful illustrations, text in English and Spanish and can be downloaded.
Psalm 148 - A Creation Praise for children. The colorful illustrations and easy to remember text will make it easy for kids to learn this psalm of gratitude to God. The book is in English and Spanish and can be read online or downloaded
Dial Into Heaven - The Dial into Heaven series is a fun and exciting way of introducing toddlers to the prayers and promises of the Bible (The following story books can be read online but not downloaded)
Updated June 2017!
A short list of Father’s Day stories, videos songs and activities for children that will help kids fully appreciate Dad and all that he is and does.
Activities and Coloring Pages
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
On the way home after an evening outing with some friends, I asked my youngest if he had a good time.
“Sort of,” he answered. “But the kids on the playground were teasing me.”
“About what?” I asked. He sometimes reacts strongly to comments, so I assumed it wasn’t a big deal.
“Eric said he saw a picture of me sleeping while doing homework, and then Leslie said she saw it too, and all the kids started laughing.”
I didn’t know how to respond. I had posted a photo on Facebook of my son sleeping at his desk, his homework beside him. I had thought it was cute. My son puts his all into his activities, but when he’s tired, he’s tired. And he sleeps.
It runs in my family. My siblings and I know that once we reach a certain point of fatigue, we can’t push past it. Sleep is the only solution. My son has somehow learned that early. When he’s tired, even if it’s when we’re about to sing happy birthday at a party or when he’s supposed to be finishing up his homework, he will sleep.
My husband and I understand that and work around it. Our son’s teachers, for the most part, have also been understanding that at times he might fall asleep at his desk. I try to get him to bed on time when he’ll have an early morning or a long day.
Parents and teachers generally understand these things. Other kids often don’t.
When I posted the photo, I didn’t think about the possibility of parents showing their kids the “cute” post, which in the mind of a child might not be “cute” but “silly” or “funny” or “embarrassing.” Material to tease with.
Something I had done unthinkingly caused my son hurt. It cast him in a negative light in the minds of his friends. They probably forgot about it a minute later, and they were all playing again. But that moment, I had to admit to my boy that it wasn’t their fault; it was mine.
I pulled up the Facebook photo and showed it to my son, saying, “I posted this photo of you the other day. I didn’t think anyone would tease you about it.” Then I promised, “I won’t post anything of you unless I ask you first.” I already have that agreement with other members of my immediate family, but I didn’t think it would matter to my youngest. I was wrong.
It’s strange I would make a mistake like that. Thinking back to my own childhood, my strongest emotions resulted from teasing. I can remember half a dozen separate occasions, before the age of five, where I was brought to tears by teasing. Painful moments tend to remain in the mind and the heart long after the echo of the actual words fade.
How often do my own words or side comments have the same effect as those children on the playground? When I’m trying to focus on work, and after one too many interruptions, snap at the kids, telling them to leave me alone so I can get something done. Or when they’re arguing and I can’t stand the contention, so I tell them I don’t care who said what and whose fault it is—I just want peace.
After careful reflection, I vowed to see every moment of life through the eyes of my child.That’s not a promise I can make, nor one I can keep, but it is something I can try. Not a once-and-for-all decision, but a moment-by-moment choice. To slow down. To think. To pray. To love.
Photo and article courtesy of Activated magazine. Used by permission.
By Joyce Suttin
Bo was our golden lab who loved to swim in our pool. He lived for his exercise, and the pool was his domain. One day, my son was learning new strokes and tried the dead man’s float. Bo decided his boy was in imminent danger and jumped into the pool to rescue him. Instinctively, he pushed my son’s head up and held onto him with his paws in an effort to save his life. My poor son choked and sputtered as he tried to keep Bo away and ended up with water in his lungs and a chest full of scratches.
I praised Bo as he shook water all over me in his zealousness to get my opinion of the event. I knew that he’d accomplished more harm than good, but I could relate, because I know I’ve often done the same thing in my interactions with others.
I was talking with someone the other day about their relationship with their teenager and offered my advice. After forty-some years of parenting, grand-parenting, and teaching teenagers, my wisdom was really quite simple: “Don’t take things personally.”
It’s hard not to react with annoyance, anger, or sensitivity when you feel like you are being rebuffed. It’s hard not to take unkind words or actions personally, not to think of all the times when there were other things you wanted to do, but you stopped and listened and attended to your kids’ needs.
It’s hard to stand on the edge of the proverbial pool and watch and pray, knowing you have said all that needs to be said and done what you could. Now is the time to just step back a bit and let them try. Let them make the clumsy dive. Let them try the new strokes. Let them imitate their friends. But don’t jump into the pool like Bo and try to rescue them prematurely. Just watch and wait in case they call for help. And pray. Because in the end, prayer and unconditional love are really what will make a difference.
If they eventually call out to you, don’t berate them for all the times they didn’t. If they knock on your door, don’t tell them you’re too busy. Be the anchor. Be the rock. Be the stable place in the unstable world and let them know that things will be all right. Then treasure that moment with your arms around them again, and give them faith to jump back in the pool.
Joyce Suttin is a retired teacher and writer and lives in San Antonio, USA.
Text and image courtesy of Activated magazine.
Updated April 2017!
He is Risen – the story of the first Easter for children ages 1-4. You can also download for free in epub or mobi format.
The Ant and the Caterpillar - for children ages 3 - 7 years old
The First Easter – for children ages 5 – 7 years old.
NEW! The Last Supper - The story of the last meal Jesus shared with His disciples. For children from 5 - 7 years old.
NEW!- Bible MiniWorld: The Easter Story - A comic of the story of the First Easter, for children ages 5 - 7.
Why Easter? - A short book for children ages 6 - 8 to help them understand why Jesus came to earth to save us. Also available for free in epub and mobi format.
The Three Trees - for children ages 6 - 12 years old.
The Soldier's Story - The story of Easter as told by one of the soldiers involved in the Crucifixion. For children ages 9 on up.
What Happened on That Day? – for children ages 9 – 12 years old.
Fascinating Facts about Easter – for children ages 9 – 12 years old.
"A Son at the Length" - for children ages 9 - 12 years old.
A Spot along the Way Home - for children ages 9 - 12 years old
The Empty Cage - an Easter allegory for children ages 8 - 12 years old
The Eyewitness - Dramatized Easter story based on Matthew 26-27 and John 18. For children ages 8 - 12.
NEW! Easter - Yesterday, Today and Forever - A fascinating children’s book with allegories and stories that reveal the real meaning of Easter. For children ages 9 - 12. To download this book for free in epub or mobi format, click here.
NEW! Another Layer of Easter - Discover the connection between the first Easter and the Day of Pentecost. For children ages 8 - 12.
Children's Easter Videos:
He is Risen (Animated Christian Classics) – for children ages 5-11. This video tells the story of the crucifixion, resurrection and Jesus' ascension into Heaven.
Bible for Beginners Easter video – ideal for children ages 1-5 years. Starts with Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem and ends with the ascension.
He's Alive – short animated video of the Easter story; ideal for toddlers and preschoolers.
Cherub Wings: The Easter Story - for children ages 1 - 5 years. This short video clip of the story of Easter from Cherub Wings. This video not only tells the story of Jesus' death and resurrection but also explains God's plan of salvation for mankind.
Storykeepers: The Magic of Easter - For children ages 6 on up. The story of Easter is related in parts by a Christian family in Rome who is struggling to flee from Nero's soldiers.
Easter Coloring and Activity Pages:
Easter story coloring book and flannelgraph – for children from 1 – 5 years old
The Last Supper coloring pages - for children ages 1 - 11 years old. Includes a short story of the Last Supper and an explanation of communion.
Easter Verse Coloring Pages – Coloring pages with verses about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Ideal to help children memorize key Bible verses. Can be used with children ages 4 – 11.
Pray a Way: Easter - Two colorful prayer posters for Easter. Ideal for children ages 3 – 6.
Pray a Way Easter Coloring Pages - Coloring pages with Easter prayers, to accompany the posters listed above.
Assorted Easter coloring pages and activity sheets – for children ages 1-11 years old
Activity sheets – for children ages 5 – 8 years old
3D Life of Jesus Pictures - for children ages 5 - 9 years old. Includes Jesus praying in the garden, the crucifixion and Jesus returning to Heaven.
NEW! A Meal with Jesus 3D Pictures - This set includes the Last Supper, the meal on the way to Emmaus and Jesus' meal with His disciples on the beach.
Note: Be sure to check out this comprehensive list of resources for Lent to find even more children's stories, devotionals, coloring pages and arts and crafts that can be used for the Easter season!
Updated February 2017!
Following is a comprehensive list of stories, devotionals, coloring pages and activities for Lent for children and teens of all ages. All material is non-denominational and can be easily used by Catholics and Protestants alike. Enjoy!
Be sure to also check the list of free resources for Easter for even more stories, illustrated kids’ devotions, videos and fun activities.
1 – 4 years
5 – 7 years
8 – 11 years
12 years on up
Core 3: Your Journey with God
Arts and Crafts Activities
Image courtesy of Lotus Carroll via Flickr.
Updated February 2017!
Updated December 27, 2016
The feast of the Epiphany occurs on the evening of January 6, the twelfth day after Christmas. Its name means “appearance” or “manifestation,” and it celebrates the day when Jesus was revealed as the Son of God to the wise men, or magi. When the magi adored the infant Jesus and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, it was taken as a sign, because they were Gentiles, that Jesus was sent as the Savior of all men everywhere, not only the Jews.
Following is a list of children’s stories, videos, coloring pages and activities for this special day.
Fascinating Facts About Epiphany - Interesting facts about the origins of the Magi and their search for the new King. For ages 8 on up.
The First Epiphany - The story of the first Epiphany for children, with text in English and Spanish. Ideal for preschoolers and children up to 5 years old.
Caspar's Story - A true to life retelling of the story of the Magi, as told by Caspar. Ideal for children ages 8 on up.
The Other Wise Man – The classic story of Artaban, the fourth wise man. This story is condensed for easy reading and is suitable for children ages 7 on up. (NEW!: The story has been re-formated and pictures have been added to make for easier reading)
Wise Men from the East – An overview of the story of the Magi from the Bible, along with interesting insight into what Christian tradition has to say about the fate of these three adventurous men who left everything behind to follow a star and worship the Messiah. Ideal for kids 7 and up.
We Three Kings – A kids’ PowerPoint of the classic Christmas song, “We Three Kings”. Great for preschoolers and young children.
The Visit of the Magi – A brief overview of the story of the wise men, from Matthew 2:1-11. For kids of all ages.
The Intriguing Story of the First Christmas, part 3 - An in-depth look at the story of the visitation of the Magi. For children ages 6 on up.
NEW! The Wise Men Visit Baby Jesus - Excerpted from the cartoon "Bible for Beginners"
NEW! Child of Love: the Visit of the Magi - An audio dramatization of the visit of the Magi and Joseph and Mary's flight into Egypt. About 10 minutes long; excerpted from the Christmas audio drama "Child of Love".
The Fourth Wise Man – Classic movie for children about the legend of the Artaban, the fourth wise man.
We Three Kings - Kidzone Animated Children’s Song
The Nativity Story – Wise Men - Excerpted from the movie “The Nativity” (2006)
The Three Wise Men – Story of the three wise men as told by children; courtesy of www.jesusandkidz.com.
Three Wise Men Bible Paper Toys
3D Picture of the 3 Wise Men (Click here for instructions on assembling this picture)
Camel Craft Ideas
Other fun arts and crafts ideas
Image courtesy of ChristArt.com